"If we create from the heart, nearly
everything works. If we create from the
head, almost nothing."  --
Marc Chagall,
Russian born French painter and stained glass artist
Leslie Harrington Carter

How gratifying to have someone select my original art and
fabric designs to send or take as gifts from North Carolina to
four different continents. Many of my pieces are painted on
silk, or canvas or paper, but I also paint on organic cottons,
grown and loomed in South Carolina. Before that company
headed to India, I was able to purchase a treasured twenty
five yards of that soft cotton, the designs for which,
I plan carefully.
Some may be surprised at the planning required in creating
an art work. The longer I live, the more details and
questions I attend to in the layers of a work, without letting
it grow stale or stilted in the process.
As a second generation artist, I grew up immersed in
appreciation for the visual and performing arts, receiving
lifelong lessons in drawing, painting, and especially,
observing with an artist's eye. Taking the art lessons at
home for granted, and with a youthful spirit thirsty for the
stage skills, I chose to major in dance education and theatre
rather than the visual arts. Along the way, I always found
opportunities to use my drawing skills, creating booklets to
enhance curriculum, designing costumes and helping with
set decoration. At one point in my career I was having on the
job training as a graphic artist while teaching,
choreographing, and rehearsing for performances in the
evenings. Creating hand painted panels for a company
producing Italian and French provincial furniture also
increased my technical abilities, as well as having a few
precious years to study and work with my talented artist
mother before she passed away.

Each of a person's various creative interests and talents is
just one valuable facet of the whole creative soul. After the
years of teaching and performing, I turned full time to
painting and discovered that, over time, I had grown to
connect the music and dance with the painting. Just as the
golfer, tennis player and other athletes must develop "follow
through", so must the painter. The painting is not created
between the tip of the brush and the canvas, no, not at all!
Just as Chagall says, it begins in the heart, then flows
through the arm, hand, and fingers, then through the brush
and onto the silk, paper or canvas. This follow-through is
most successful when the artist has carefully planned the
various details of composition, value, form, color, first, so
there are no obstacles to hamper the inspired flow of that
brush stroke.